My First Disaster - Long

Decorating By hollyw567 Updated 15 Jul 2008 , 6:48pm by mandygirlxoxo

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hollyw567 Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 6:48pm
post #1 of 16

So, buttercream and I are not speaking at the moment..... Yesterday was my first cake disaster. The bride insisted on an all buttercream cake with scrolls on the sides and pink dots for the center of little flowers on the cake. The wedding and reception are both outside and it is over 100 degrees down here. I told her that buttercream and heat do not go together very well, but she said that she thinks it will be fine, as long as I don't set it up too early.

Before I even arrived at the wedding site, the icing is already cracking on the middle tier of the cake. I tried to patch it with a little icing and it was on the back side of the cake, so I wasn't too worried about it. The whole ride to the wedding, the sun was beaming down on the cakes and I had the AC full blast. It still didn't work. icon_cry.gif

I got to the wedding and brought the cake, piece by piece to the reception area and by the time I had brought the third tier, the bottom tier had cracked all around the edges and the icing was starting to slide off! I panic and try to smooth it back onto the cake without smudging all the scrollwork on the side, but the more I messed with it, the worse it looked! I broke down into tears and the MOB kept saying that it's not my fault, it's just too hot for a cake to sit outsdie. I stayed with the cake a little longer and tried to fix it as much as I could, but it was a lost cause. I was just hoping that it would last until the wedding was over. It only had to sit for about 30 more minutes.

I felt so horrible about all of this happening, but I did warn the bride weeks before that July is very hot and that it was possible that the cake wouldn't hold together for very long outside. I just wish I could have done something to prevent this from happening! I am so frustrated with buttercream right now. We won't be speaking for a long time lol! Here is a picture of the cake. You can see where the icing is cracking and pulling from the sides, expecially on the bottom tier. I was so proud of this cake before it started meltingicon_sad.gif

15 replies
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sari66 Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 7:21pm
post #2 of 16

The cake looks great!
Now I have a question? did you use all butter or shortening or a combo in your butter cream? I ask as the butter would of course melt and the shortening wouldn't as fast.

Good luck on the next one and speak to your butter cream icon_smile.gif

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Omicake Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 7:32pm
post #3 of 16

What a pity! Such a beautiful cake!!!
As Sari66 states , an all shortening BC can withstand hot temperatures better than those with butter. I've heard of cases here , that even fondant is apt to almost melt when outside during heat episodes.

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mcdonald Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 7:44pm
post #4 of 16

I had the same thing happen to me. Wedding was an hour away with 100 degree heat and humity. As we got near, I turned in horror!!! All I could do was sit and watch as my icing fell off the sides of all my cakes. It was horrible. My first bad experience. I cried as well as I rushed to the kitchen to start my patch job. Of course, you never have tools to patch like that!! It took me two weeks to bake something else that had to be delivered and I was scared to death but all was fine.

We have to learn I guess that there are some things out of our control.

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ANicole Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 7:54pm
post #5 of 16

Sorry this happened to you! Thankfully, the MOB was understanding (and hopefully so was her daughter) and the cake still looks very beautiful. Good job!!! thumbs_up.gif

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poshcakedesigns Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 7:58pm
post #6 of 16

I second the all shortening in the summer months. If I'm asked to make a cake with real butter in it for a summer wedding I tell them nope I will not do it. Sometimes I can get them to change their minds and sometimes not. For those that say no - I send them on their way. I figure my reputation is on the line and no way will I get blamed for being a bad baker because of their stubborness.

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milissasmom Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 8:16pm
post #7 of 16

I always use all shortening in the summer months...It's never even discussed. I add extra butter extract and the brides never, ever know. Butter just doesn't work in the heat. I live in the desert where it is almost allways triple digit weather so I don't use butter much at all. I even switched to shortening for my cream cheese frosting. I never discuss ingredients so if they they choose Buttercream over Fondant, I guess they just assume the 'Butter' in Butter Cream means the frosting is made with all butter (especially since the extract smells SO much like real butter). Good luck with you next one, once you and the Buttercream are back on speaking terms). thumbs_up.gif

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FromScratch Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 8:57pm
post #8 of 16

If the sun was beating on your cake then that was most likely what caused your issues. The combination of your crusted buttercream and the melting butter and/or shortening caused your cake to crack. The solid surface of the crust can't hold up if the soft icing under it shifts. This is part of the reason I use a non-crusting buttercream. No matter how high your AC is cranked, the direct sun will cause your cake to get too warm. My back windows are tinted so this isn't a big issue for me, but if they weren't I would put a heavy box around the whole cake. Have it be open on the top or the back side so the AC can still get at it.

It was a beautiful cake even with the issues. ((hugs)) It always sucks when you have problems when you worked so hard.

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mom2spunkynbug Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 9:29pm
post #9 of 16

Ok - that cake looks amazing!!! I would not have known that you had problems!!

I will not do a buttercream covered cake for an outside event, and I live in the north so it's only bad (hot) for a very short time out of the year!

I'm sorry but your very first sentence had me LOL!

I hope you guys will be speaking again very soon.

Actually - I, myself, am not on speaking terms with bc right now that I think about it! It just WILL NOT smooth for me no matter what I do, whose recipe I use or what technique I use!

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hollyw567 Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 11:06pm
post #10 of 16

Thanks to all of you for your kind words and encouragement! In my buttercream, I have always used half butter, half shortening. I tried an all shortening version once and didn't like how it tasted, but next time, I will definitely take the all shortening route.

Oh, I still get all choked up when I even think about that cake icon_cry.gif Live and learn, I guess! Thanks again!

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pottedmeatchunks Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 1:23am
post #11 of 16
Originally Posted by jkalman

If the sun was beating on your cake then that was most likely what caused your issues.

Agreed. This happened to me. A/C was blasting and frosting was slothing off, only in those exact spots where sun was beaming down through the car windows. My ganache covered cakes got the worst of it, I had to put them in the freezer to harden them up once I reached the reception.

I'm glad your MOB was so nice. The bridal party member that saw my cake upon arrival said "I hope she didn't pay for that". icon_mad.gif lol

But honestly, 100 degrees ?? This girl was asking for a melted cake. The car windows just gave it a head-start.

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maryak Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 1:37am
post #12 of 16

I'm so sorry that that happened!! I think you're cake still looks fantastic though!! And you got lucky that you had a kind MOB instead of a Godzilla type!! I only wish that when I make a wedding cake later this year it will turn out half as good as yours looks!!

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moxey2000 Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 1:40am
post #13 of 16

I live in a tropical environment so I use only Crisco for my buttercream, with the butter flavor added. I've had my cakes sit out in the heat at the beach and still look great. There's plenty of butter in the cake thumbs_up.gif .

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cocobean Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 2:32am
post #14 of 16

I was sorry to hear about your "baby" you know cake. It really hurts to know these things can happen to our creations. I think sometimes I'm going to have a heart attack over it! lol icon_eek.gif

Here is an all shortening "bc" recipe that I love the taste of. (It drives me crazy to know what's it, (shortening not butter) but it does taste and smell really great). Holds up very well in hot weather.

Bakery Style Buttercream icon_smile.gif

2 lbs. pd. cane sugar
1 1/4 c. hi-ratio shortening (I called a local bakery and they sold me a 50
lb. container. They told me it would be good
for a year).
3 t. Creme Bouquet
1/8 t. cinnamon (optional) (I haven't tried this but would like to)
1 t. salt
1/2 c. of 2% or whole milk

Pour half of the pd. sugar into a mixing bowl, then add the shortening and all of the flavoring ingredients. Next, add the milk slowly, mixing at low speed until smooth. Then add the remaining pd. sugar 1 c. at a time, continuing to mix on low speed with each addition until smooth. When all ingredients have been fully blended, scrape the sides of the bowl, then turn the mixer on high speed and beat the icing for 8-10 minutes. Scrape the sides as needed during this process. This long beating process will cause the frosting to increase slightly in bulk, and it will create the consistency that is typical of bakery frosting. Makes enough to frost and heavily decorate one 9" round 2 layer cake. Be sure to tint with gel-based colors, not liquid food colors, so as not to thin out the icing. The frosting will begin to crust quickly, so cover tightly if you are not going to use right away.

1-Do NOT substitute Hi-ratio shortening with Crisce. Crisco will cause the frosting to turn greasy, and will not fluff up, as Crisco tends to break down during the long beating process.
2-Humidity and heat can be a factor so adjust consistency as needed witha bit more sugar or milk.
3-For a true bc, in place of pure shortening, use 1 stick of butter plus 3/4 c. of hi-ratio shortening. (Probably not for really hot weather)
4. If the "bc" sits for a while before you use it, beat by hand with a spoon, to remove air bubbles.

*Because the frosting crusts so quickly, you can actually pinch the edges, of the finished cake, with your fingers to make really crisp looking lines.

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loriemoms Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 10:49pm
post #15 of 16

I think the cake looks great!!!

I box all my cakes...I bought a supply of the big wedding cake delivery boxes, because the sun here is so strong, not even a fondant cake can withstand it beating down on it.

I agree with the all shortening buttercream (hi ratio..crisco belongs in only one place..the store shelves!) I had a cake sit in 102 (buttercream!) for 1/2 hour. It got all shiny looking, but the buttercream stayed put. (some brides just dont listen, so I have it in my contract that if you want a buttercream cake outside, I aint responsible for it melting!)

So far, I have been VERY lucky!

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mandygirlxoxo Posted 15 Jul 2008 , 6:48pm
post #16 of 16

i had a similar thing happen to me but it was with a duck cake and the wing melted off... not nearly as important as a weddign cake... but if that was the final pic your cake was BEAUTIFUL! i would not have been able to do better that that. and you did warn the bride before hand... so its really not your fault. you did an amazing job of keeping it together till the wedding. thumbs_up.gif

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